Slings and baby carriers to buy or hire - babywearing - sling walks for new parents - Weymouth Dorchester and Bridport
Sharon Heller, 'Vital Touch'
Babywearing: Welcome to West Dorset Slings - Baby and toddler Carriers and Slings to buy or hire
Would you like to learn how to use a carrier with your newborn, older baby or toddler?
We run on a not-for-profit basis. If you pay or donate towards our services this goes towards covering our running costs (printing leaflets, website costs, advertising, hiring rooms and petrol costs etc) and also means that we can offer help to those who are unable to pay for what reason.
West Dorset Slings is run by antenatal consultant Mary-Clare Buckle. We are here for you if you'd like to learn anything to do with carrying your baby or toddler! You can try, buy, hire or get general advice. We have a large selection of slings available in all styles and sizes and the expertise to find the right sling for you. We can give you advice on sling safety and proper use.
Hello Mary-Clare You helped me lots about my baby's sleeping when I really really need someone's help. You helped my emotions as well. Your sling helped my baby and me. I never ever forget about your support. My boy will be 7 years old next month. xxx
Baby and toddler Carriers and Slings to buy or hire - Prices
If you need longer to decide if a sling suits you don't worry - they are also available to hire! Hire fee is £15 for one month plus deposit. Deposit is £50 and fully refundable when you return your sling within the month.
Found the perfect sling and don't want to part with it? Slings are available to buy both new and nearly new. For some of the slings we have for sale see 'For sale' albums under 'Photos' on the West Dorset Slings Facebook page.
Prices are mostly from around £20 to £50, but we also have some donated slings for which we would appreciate a donation towards our costs.
Baby and toddler Carriers and Slings - Babywearing - Workshops and consultations
We run group workshops (at least 5 people) or individual consultations at a time to suit you. They can be tailored to your individual situation and needs, including specific advice relating to a particular problem (for example, if you need to use a one shoulder carrier because you have frozen shoulder).
Please contact to arrange. You can get in touch through the West Dorset Slings page, or by calling or texting me directly: Mary-Clare Buckle (07775 656782).
1 to 1 sling and baby carrier consultations
We run regular online and offline consultations.
All charges can be adjusted to what you can afford.
For a back carrier you would need 45 minutes to an hour (£15).
In an hour consultation (normal price is £18, but we can offer a discount if you are on a low income) we can show you most types of sling available with a quick demo of each and you select one you want us to go into more detail. Learn how to wear them safely and comfortably.
All consultations include a 'TICKS' safety chart.
At our sling consultation you can try any slings you fancy after we have shown them all or bring your own or buy or hire from us. Learn all the different types available and how to wear them safely and comfortably.
Online: Contact us to arrange. If you don't already own a sling, we can arrange for you to borrow one (we can send to you or you can pick up from my house). If you are still pregnant, you can use a teddy bear or other baby sized soft toy as your pretend baby (but a cushion will do!)
Incredibly helpful and lovely people who know everything there is to know about slings, how to use them properly and tips for making them comfy and tips for using to make life easier. Would definitely recommend if you want to know anything about or have a chat about carrying little ones. Thanks Mary-Clare, you've made my parenting experience a lot easier!
For some of the slings we have for sale see 'For sale' albums under 'Photos' on the West Dorset Slings Facebook page.
Can't recommend Mary-Clare enough. Lovely lady, extremely knowledgeable xx
This was my second visit to West Dorset Sling library, and once again Mary-Clare was just brilliant - what she doesn't know about slings isn't worth knowing. Great value for money to hire a sling, huge selection to choose from and two very lovely and helpful people to help find what's right for you
Monthly Weymouth and Dorchester 'Sling Walk' for Parents and their Babies
These are usually on the 2nd Monday of the month. Check the West Dorset Slings Facebook page for the next event.
... so grateful for the walks, such a lifeline
We run these walks so that you can get some fresh air and enjoy the company of other parents and pregnant women. We offer a short free sling consultation before the walk, if you need one. We will arrive with a selection of slings to suit any age baby or toddler, before the walk starts. We can also help people fit their own carrier. We can help with carrying your baby or toddler on your back (maybe if you have an older child). Slings are available to borrow for the walk (£3) but please arrive 20 mins early (and let us know in advance).
Also obviously there is the option to hire a sling for a week or a month.
We request a £2 contribution for the walk. Please bring some change or pay us via PayPal to Mary-Clare Buckle 07775-656782 (at 10am) or help you choose one of those we have available to borrow for the walk.
Please message me if you'd like to come (important - please include your phone number!). This is meant primarily to be a sling/carrier walk, but push chairs, prams or buggies are welcome ... we will say in advance if the walk is not suitable for these.
How slings will help you in your life with your baby!
A sling is the most complete way of making your baby feel safe and calm. Babies often feel calmer when their bodies are physically contained with their limbs are held in and their bodies are held in a natural curled position.
- You can deal with your other children, get on with anything around the house, or get out of the house easily and quickly.
- A lot of the modern 'stretchy wrap' slings can even be kept on and you can just slip the baby in or out if, for example, you need to go somewhere in the car.
- Both parents can use a sling and it will help the baby's father feel more involved and be more sensitive to the baby's needs.
- An optimum new born sling will hold baby close against the chest in an upright position, containing their whole body in a cocoon. They can experience skin-to-skin contact, but most importantly will be able to hear the sounds of their parent's heartbeat, their breathing and their voice through the chest.
- They will be able to smell familiar smells and will be able to see their parent's face easily. At this distance, parental body heat will help to regulate their own body heat and they will feel as connected to their parent as is possible for them outside the womb.
- It also allows you (the parent) to be active, which will help allay post natal depression and enable you to quickly get back in shape after the birth.
- A sling is much kinder on your back than lifting awkward car seats/hard bassinets/pushchairs.
- Being upright in a carrier can also help the baby with reflux/colic problems and, of course, reduce 'flat head syndrome' which babies can get from hard car seats or spending too much time lying on their backs. The position of the baby being held against the chest is ideal for development, prevents airway compromise and good ergonomic slings keep babies snug, upright and visible.
- It helps with your baby's sleep, heart rate, hormone and temperature regulation, is good for their hips, spine and core muscles and helps develop their sense of balance.
- It increases the time a baby spends in a state of 'quiet alertness' - a time of contentment when they learn the most.
Myself and my partner Jim first discovered West Dorset Slings through Facebook and attended one of their monthly walks when our baby Talia was around 5 weeks old to get advice with how to use our sling wrap that we had (but had no idea how to use!). Mary-Clare showed us some great carrying techniques and was super helpful and supportive from the moment we arrived. We have been hooked and have returned every month for every walk since. A fantastic group of friendly parents, walks in great locations, a wealth of help, support and guidance on baby wearing always available and I don't think I have come away from a single walk without having learned something about baby wearing or just parenting in general. Highly recommended!!